Friday, August 5, 2011

Kale Chips

It may seem a little odd that I decided to make kale chips @ 9 o'clock in the morning but given the healthy attributes that kale posses I figured what the hell? So I ventured out into the sunny garden and cut several leaves from my plants.

After preheating the oven to 300 I cut the leaves down the centre on either side of the rib and then discarded the rib.

After tearing the leaves into bite size pieces I transferred the kale to a small bowl. I have a bad habit of not measuring when it comes to recipes like this so I apologize for not being able to provide exact instructions, I'm sure you can eyeball it for yourself. I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the kale. A few shakes of garlic powder sea salt and my favourite - crushed chili peppers! Using my hands (it's the only way to do it to ensure each leaf is evenly coated) I gently mixed the kale in the bowl. Placing each piece completely flat on a baking sheet.

Depending on the oven the chips take anywhere from 10 - 15 minutes to cook. They are extremely easy to overcook. If they do you'll smell them burning. So I don't recommend leaving them in the oven unattended.

Once cooked you can eat them right away - they taste really yummy hot!

Enjoy your very own kale chips!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Berries, berries, no berries?

I LOVE strawberries! I pick gallons of the suckers every year. One of the highlights of this house was the garden AND this garden came complete with a strawberry patch! You can just imagine how pleased I was, shit my Dad was excited for me! This little patch is the perfect size, I could make jam ... if was disciplined enough not to eat them all.

Just last week I got to eat the first berries of the season. They were delicious!

The following day I noticed I was missing berries.

Whatever it was it was picky. Leaving the parts of the berry that hadn't even turned red yet. I kept a keen lookout for the culprit. Turns out it was robins! These aren't just any robins. These are urban robins. They probably dine on leftover sushi covered in wasabi. First I tried spraying the plants with chemical-free dish shop & water. That didn't work. Then I tried Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce mixed with water. No go. Actually I also covered a couple of berries with pure Sriracha and they gobbled them up as if it was covered in bird seed. How crazy is that? What was originally a strawberry patch with a promising yield was quickly turning into a handful. My Dad suggested that I cover them with a net. I headed to the Dollar Store and picked up a giant garden net (yes, that's what it said on the label) and a package of plastic spikes.

I make it sound simple but it was a bit of a pain in the butt. Once the net was finally secure I was able to finally enjoy the fruits of my labour! YUM!!!

*No birds were harmed during this experimentation. To be honest, I don't think they suffered even a slight case of heartburn!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This is my first official This Sucks rant. I promise to keep it short.

I'm dedicating this post to all CUPW employees and anyone else that believes unions are a beneficial to the democratic, taxpaying population.

You (CUPW employees) make more money than many hard working, taxpaying Canadians. Why do you think it's OK to suspend a basic form of communication? What you forget is for every day that mail delivery is suspended we (Canadian citizens) STOP supporting you. This union (among others) should be eliminated altogether so you can get a taste of what it's like to EARN an annual increase. Not having it handed to you annually on tax payers silver platter. This debate is getting old. Is this what we have to look forward to every four years? Aside from those of you who are actually apart of the CUPW I have yet to meet one person who agrees with your complaints. You should be grateful you have a job and that I am not the person in charge because I would fire all of you and start over – sans union. I would not be surprised if you experience cut backs once you do get legislated back to work because of all the business that Canada Post has lost to other courier companies over the course of the strike. National and International business cannot be suspended because "it's not fair" to you. Didn't anyone ever tell you life is not fair? Be grateful for what you have, get off your high horse and get back to work!!!

P.S. You should fire your union rep, he's delusional. You're not being ripped off if for not receiving anything you didn't have in the first place. Clearly it was not in writing or it wouldn't be an issue (re: recent negotiations that fell through).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Front garden makeover

Let me start off by saying that this post is late for the simple reason that I could not find the cord for my camera! I've been dying to share these pictures with all of you. I hope you can appreciate the long hours - ok the entire day - it took me to complete this landscaping project. I'm incredibly proud! For those of you who don't know, we moved in last September so this has been my first crack at my very own garden that does not consist of all pots. So without further ado ...



The idea was to create a virtually maintenance free front garden. Our street has heavy foot traffic and to be quite honest I would prefer to spend my time in the backyard. Planting perennials was the perfect solution! I chose plants that will fill in with time and will produce pretty flowers. I left the existing tulips that I had planted in the fall and added two flowering hostas (I really like the two-tone leaves) and four day lilies that will produce a variety of colourful flowers. You can't see it but I also put a weed barrier underneath the mulch. This will prevent and pesky weeds from showing their ugly heads in my garden. I chose an organic mulch that consists of coconut husks. It looks good and provides added moisture retention to my garden, great for those long hot summer days. And there you have it, my updated bed in my front garden!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skor Cookies

I had a craving for oatmeal cookies this weekend so I decided to whip up a batch of this classic with a sweet twist. This recipe is super easy and is by no means low fat but I do promise you will have 4+ dozen of deliciously chewy cookies. I can't stop eating them!

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (more if you wish)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of Skor toffee bits
  • 1 heaping cup of milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
With the help of a mixer beat together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
Gradually add the dry mixture to your wet mixture. Beat until well blended.
Add the oats one cup at a time.
Once the oats appear coated with dough mix in the Skor bits and chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix!

 Using a teaspoon and your hands form dough into a 1"-1.5" balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies for no more than 10 minutes or until just golden on top. Let the cookies stand 5+ minutes before transferring them to your cooling racks. You'll notice that the cookies will be super soft until they set.


Serve with a tall glass of cold milk.

Alternatively you can bake larger cookies and create to die for ice cream sandwiches!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Quinoa Quiche

Quiche is often my weekday go-to recipe when I don't have the energy to make an elaborate meal (or feel like waiting in line at the grocery store). As long as you have milk and eggs you can toss virtually anything in.

I'm partial to spinach - it tastes great on it's own and even better when well seasoned (I like it spicy). Frozen or fresh the choice is yours just keep in mind that frozen spinach can turn your quiche into an edible sponge if you're not careful. It's imperative that you extract as much moisture as humanly possible (think Popeye but with paper towels). Quinoa adds a wonderful texture and flavour to this dish. Did you know it's loaded with protein and iron? Just a 1/4 cup of flour contains 4 g of protein and 10% of your DV of iron!

Here's a rough draft of how it's done:

• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 generous tablespoons of crushed chili peppers
• 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
• pepper to taste
• 1 5oz package of fresh organic baby spinach (or half a brick of frozen)
• 1- 2 cups of any variety of veggies/onions ... your choice
• 4 - 6 eggs depending on their size OR you may substitute half the eggs with egg whites. *Note all egg whites will turn out watery.
• 1/2 cup of milk
• 1/4 cup quinoa flour
• 1 generous tablespoon of fine herbe de Provence
• 11/2 cups of feta cheese

Preheat your oven to 350
Lightly grease an 8" pie dish.
Heat oil and seasonings. Sauté veg until soft (not soggy). Add spinach tossing until wilted. Transfer spinach/veggie mixture to your pan. Sprinkle half the feta cheese over top.
Whisk eggs and milk together. Add les herbes. Whisk in quinoa flour. Gently pour the egg mixture over veggies covering them as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with remaining feta.
Bake for 20-25 minutes - depending on your oven. Quiche should puff up and double in size. When the edges are golden brown remove from the oven and let stand for 10 min. Quiche will deflate.

Serve warm
with sliced
sweet cherry
tomatoes and
a crisp glass
of white wine!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location: My kitchen

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is in the air!

I have to say that there is nothing like* the sound of birds saying goodnight to each other at 18h45. It reminds me that spring is just around the corner!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you were SO excited to get home from school because the days were getting longer and you knew that daylight would linger just long enough to fool your parents into thinking it was earlier than it really was? That feeling has been reawakened once again now that I have my own backyard to play in! The only difference being that instead of a sandbox I have garden beds and I substitute a trowel for a plastic shovel.

I get really excited at the thought of getting my hands dirty! While on the subject here's a little Canadian gardener's tip:
Wear your gloves and stay healthy. There is a universe of life in your soil - good and bad - Clostridium tetani being one of them. Contrary to popular belief C. tetani spores are not affiliated with rusty nails, but rather they are dirty and more often than not found outside. Due to the nature of the wound they inflict (a puncture) it provides the ideal breeding ground for bacterial spores. Why does this matter to all you gardener's out there? Clostridium infections can also come in the form of whooping cough, gas gangrene, botulism or more commonly as the dreaded tetanus ... So I repeat, be wise and wear your gloves. If you do happen to cut yourself while digging around in the dirt make sure you go get a booster shot (just to clear we're not talking about a little prick from the rose bush but a open or deep gash - I don't want to be pegged as a hypochondriac). Booster shots are not necessarily good for 10 years and it's really not worth the risk. What's the worse they can say? You're fine, go home? Great! I won't get into the finer details of what tetanus can do to you, that's what Wikipedia is for ...

Back to business! I was stoked about getting home before it got dark tonight. Since I returned from Montreal I noticed little chutes of green breaking through the freshly thawed earth. So every night I hope to get home in time to see the if a flower or two has bloomed. Mother Nature was good to me today!

Check it out:

This is a Snow Drop. Coined after the fact that they can bloom underneath a blanket of snow.

These little guys decided the grass was greener on the other side (of the bed).

As for my fellow Crocuses ... They are not the colour I planted but they sure are pretty!

As the days get longer (and warmer) all the little sprouts will get easier to distinguish. Until then we'll all be patiently waiting for some colour to grace my front lawn!

*You'll probably hear that a lot from me "there is nothing like ..."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Yard

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Everything is different when you cross the bridge ... to Gatineau (Alymer)

I've been slacking! If this was full-time my gig I would have been fired four weeks ago.

Tonight I would like to share some random imagery from a recent trip (I'm still here) to Ottawa ...

My 'friends' make fun of me because I still wear googles when I go swimming (in a chlorinated pool). Well it seems I'm not the only one who feels the chlorine can be an irritant to the eyes. It really does suck when you forget your googles ... Who knew the Chateau Cartier understood my pain?


Last but not least, someone in marketing thought it would be nice to recreate the comforts of a home cooked turkey dinner ... In the shower!

My only question? Where's the coordinating cranberry lotion?

Good night Peeps!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 24, 2011

First thing on my list ...

Candy! Of course! My absolute most favourite thing in the world! Do I sound like I'm two years old or what? If anyone out there in blogger land has seen these exact type of sour candy PLEASE let me know! This particular 'brand' of old-fashioned hard sour candy are difficult to come by nowadays. What once was .1 each at every local corner store is nowhere to be found. A few years ago the popular bulk chain - Bulk Barn - stopped carrying these pout puckering sweets for no apparent reason. Three passionate letters later I was told they could not reveal the manufacturers name! WTF?!? This leads me to my dramatic plea to anyone who reads this ...

DO YOU KNOW WHO MAKES THESE CANDIES or at least where to get them?

Just to be clear that we are talking about the right kind they come in the following flavours:
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Green Apple
  • Lemon
  • Orange 

They are formed in their coordinating shape and should have an extra firm texture. Needless to say ... They rock! Any leads would be much appreciated. Thanks!!!